Tag Archives: betty crocker

Nothing Says “I Love You” Like Sugar And Butter

15 Feb

I know I may stand alone in this opinion, but I LOVE Valentine’s Day (yeah, I know, it’s a stupid non holiday created by Hallmark, but what can I say? I am a sap, a true romantic at heart ha!).      

I love the chance to dream up some new way to tell my husband just how much I love him, and this year, I decided it had to involve one of the few things I love even more than Valentine’s Day – COOKIES!

I am not the best with words, so I always have trouble with greeting cards and trying to figure out what to write in them, so this year, I decided an edible greeting card was in order.

Giant Sugar Cookies shaped like hearts and frosted to look like conversation hearts, with perzonalized messages on them were what I decided to make

First, I had to pick a sugar cookie recipe, and since I already determined that the Betty Crocker recipe was the favorite in my Battle Of The Sugar Cookies, I just whipped up a batch of those and got down to the important part – the decorating!

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I set up my supplies, which included the cookies, vanilla frosting (check out my go-to recipe here) tinted to ‘conversation heart’ colors, and then of course some dark pink frosting for piping the messages

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First order of business was to get a base of frosting on the cookies, and then came the fun part! I piped the messages on, and this is what they ended up looking like

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All together it says “On this day 7 years ago, I gave you this “You and Me”, and told you to think about it. I’m so glad you did. I Love you more every day. Here’s to a lifetime of love. Happy Valentine’s Day, Love – C”

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The story behind the message is that 7 years ago before we started dating, I approached him with a “You and Me” conversation heart and told him (partly jokingly) to “think about it”. We started dating soon after, and the rest is history. I credit the conversation heart as being the catalyst that started our relationship – cheesy, but true

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Then came the question of how to package them – I decided to wrap each cookie individually in a plastic sandwich container, and then number them (to be opened in order by my Valentine). When I brought out this huge box and told him to open his ‘card’, it had the desired jaw-dropping effect

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He loved it, and luckily he was willing to share….

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Savoring The Simple Things – Fresh Baked Bread

26 Jan

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There are few things as amazing as fresh baked bread – the simplicity, and the smell that fills the kitchen are just two of the reasons why it’s the perfect treat for a cold day – or any day really!

Oh, and it’s easy to make – that helps too!

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There’s the dough making…

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And the kneading…

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And the rising…

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And the baking…

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And then there’s the best part – the EATING!

 

For this one, my husband kept it simple and used the Betty Crocker recipe for white bread:

 

Ingredients:
6 to 7 cups Gold Medal® all-purpose flour* or Better for Bread® bread flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons shortening
2 packages regular or quick active dry yeast (4 1/2 teaspoons)
2 1/4 cups very warm water (120° to 130°F)
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted, if desired

 

Directions:
1. In large bowl, stir 3 1/2 cups of the flour, the sugar, salt, shortening and yeast until well mixed. Add warm water. Beat with electric mixer on low speed 1 minute, scraping bowl frequently. Beat on medium speed 1 minute, scraping bowl frequently. Stir in enough remaining flour, 1 cup at a time, to make dough easy to handle.
2. Place dough on lightly floured surface. Knead about 10 minutes or until dough is smooth and springy. Grease large bowl with shortening. Place dough in bowl, turning dough to grease all sides. Cover bowl loosely with plastic wrap and let rise in warm place 40 to 60 minutes or until dough has doubled in size. Dough is ready if indentation remains when touched.
3. Grease bottoms and sides of two 8×4-inch or 9×5-inch loaf pans with shortening or spray with cooking spray.
4. Gently push fist into dough to deflate. Divide dough in half. Flatten each half with hands or rolling pin into 18×9-inch rectangle on lightly floured surface. Roll dough up tightly, beginning at 9-inch side. Press with thumbs to seal after each turn. Pinch edge of dough into roll to seal. Pinch each end of roll to seal. Fold ends under loaf. Place seam side down in pan. Brush loaves lightly with butter. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise in warm place 35 to 50 minutes or until dough has doubled in size.
5. Move oven rack to low position so that tops of pans will be in center of oven. Heat oven to 425°F.
6. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until loaves are deep golden brown and sound hollow when tapped. Remove from pans to wire rack. Brush loaves with butter; cool.
Makes 2 loaves, 16 slices each

 

It was the perfect addition to our Thanksgiving feast, and was amazing as French toast too! You likely have almost all of these ingredients on hand, so go ahead and give bread making a try – it’s worth the effort, and goes great with everything from soup to peanut butter and jelly!

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Battle Of The Sugar Cookies – Which Recipe Is The Best?

18 Nov

 

One of me favorite things to make is frosted sugar cookies. They are delicious, versatile, and super fun to decorate for any and every occasion. I used to cheat and use a boxed sugar cookie mix, but the brand I prefer (Krusteaz) is no longer carried at any of my local grocery stores, so this holiday season I realized I would have to take drastic measures and (gasp!) make my sugar cookies from scratch. I have done this before, but haven’t found a recipe that was worth repeating. So, I did some research, and narrowed it down to these two recipes:

 
Betty Crocker Sugar Cookies
Ingredients
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 egg
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
Granulated sugar or colored sugar

Directions
1. Mix powdered sugar, butter, vanilla, almond extract and egg in large bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients except granulated sugar. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours.
2. Heat oven to 375ºF. Lightly grease cookie sheet.
3. Divide dough in half. Roll each half 1/4 inch thick on lightly floured surface. Cut into desired shapes with 2- to 2 1/2-inch cookie cutters. Sprinkle with granulated sugar. Place on cookie sheet.
4. Bake 7 to 8 minutes or until edges are light brown. Remove from cookie sheet. Cool on wire rack.

 

Allrecipes.com The Best Rolled Sugar Cookies Recipe
Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups butter, softened
2 cups white sugar
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

5 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

Directions

1. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour (or overnight).
2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Roll out dough on floured surface 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Cut into shapes with any cookie cutter. Place cookies 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
3. Bake 6 to 8 minutes in preheated oven. Cool completely.

Then, it was time for the duel. So, I prepared my ingredients

And mixed my doughs

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All Recipes

And baked my cookies (even though the all recipes said to bake them at 400, I baked them at 375 and they turned out fine, 400 seemed really high to me and the oven was already at 375)

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So once all that was done….the big question is, which recipe was better?

Let me start out by saying, they both had their good and bad points – The Betty Crocker cookies were slightly drier, but more flaky and had lots of delicate layers, which were delicious. The All Recipes cookies were richer and more buttery, but puffed up more when baking and definitely had a slightly more shortbread-ish texture, which isn’t my favorite when it comes to sugar cookies
For me, I think the winner has to be the Betty Crocker recipe, the smooth dough produced a cookie which had a better overall taste, which could have something to do with the almond extract in the dough (yum!)

 

However, if you are looking for more of a classic sugar cookie taste, I think your best bet would be the All Recipes cookies

 

Both turned out delicious and when slathered with frosting have that classic taste we have all come to associate with Christmas

 

Happy Holiday Baking!

Fall = Apples, which therefore = PIE

21 Sep

Living in Upstate NY has (a few) benefits – one of them being the amazing fall season, with its crisp air, colorful leaves, and APPLE SEASON! I LOVE going apple picking, and have gone twice already this year.
There are SO many things you can make with apples – my personal faves? Applesauce, apple crisp, and Apple pie – making these classic recipes reminds me of everything I love about fall, and today I decided a pie was in order
When it came to which recipe to use, there was really no question – it was the classic Betty Crocker Apple Pie all the way. Not only did I use her name in my blog title, but Betty’s cookbook was also the first ever cookbook I bought, and the one I rely on for all the classics, from pot roast to casseroles and yep, pies and desserts too!

Ingredients
Pastry
2 cups Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons shortening
4 to 6 tablespoons cold water

Filling
1/3 to 1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon salt
8 cups thinly sliced peeled tart apples (8 medium)
2 tablespoons butter or margarine

Directions
1. In medium bowl, mix 2 cups flour and 1 teaspoon salt. Cut in shortening, using pastry blender (or pulling 2 table knives through ingredients in opposite directions), until particles are size of small peas. Sprinkle with cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing with fork until all flour is moistened and pastry almost cleans side of bowl (1 to 2 teaspoons more water can be added if necessary).
2. Gather pastry into a ball. Divide in half; shape into 2 flattened rounds on lightly floured surface. Wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate about 45 minutes or until dough is firm and cold, yet pliable. This allows the shortening to become slightly firm, which helps make the baked pastry more flaky. If refrigerated longer, let pastry soften slightly before rolling.
3. Heat oven to 425°F. With floured rolling pin, roll one pastry round into round 2 inches larger than upside-down 9-inch glass pie plate. Fold pastry into fourths; place in pie plate. Unfold and ease into plate, pressing firmly against bottom and side.
4. In large bowl, mix sugar, 1/4 cup flour, the cinnamon, nutmeg and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Stir in apples until well mixed. Spoon into pastry-lined pie plate. Cut butter into small pieces; sprinkle over filling. Trim overhanging edge of pastry 1/2 inch from rim of plate.
5. Roll other round of pastry into 10-inch round. Fold into fourths and cut slits so steam can escape. Unfold top pastry over filling; trim overhanging edge 1 inch from rim of plate. Fold and roll top edge under lower edge, pressing on rim to seal; flute as desired. Cover edge with 2- to 3-inch strip of foil to prevent excessive browning.
6. Bake 40 to 50 minutes or until crust is brown and juice begins to bubble through slits in crust, removing foil for last 15 minutes of baking. Serve warm if desired.

Ok, I admit – I cheat a little, I use store bought pie crusts. I have tried to make my own, and it has not come out well, it’s a skill I’m working on, but in the meantime, store bought is definitely my go-to for crusts
I also like to bake it at a little lower temperature, 400 degrees, for a little longer – I find it makes the apples more tender and tasty!
However you do it, the result is a drool-worthy smell coming from the kitchen, and a delicious flaky crusted, warm apple pie. Yum. Happy Fall!